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Front Hum Neurosci. 2012 Jun 19;6:181. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00181. eCollection 2012.

Perceptual crossing: the simplest online paradigm.

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1
Laboratoire d'Informatique pour la Mécanique et les Sciences de l'Ingénieur, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UPR 3251 Orsay, France.

Abstract

Researchers in social cognition increasingly realize that many phenomena cannot be understood by investigating offline situations only, focusing on individual mechanisms and an observer perspective. There are processes of dynamic emergence specific to online situations, when two or more persons are engaged in a real-time interaction that are more than just the sum of the individual capacities or behaviors, and these require the study of online social interaction. Auvray et al.'s (2009) perceptual crossing paradigm offers possibly the simplest paradigm for studying such online interactions: two persons, a one-dimensional space, one bit of information, and a yes/no answer. This study has provoked a lot of resonance in different areas of research, including experimental psychology, computer/robot modeling, philosophy, psychopathology, and even in the field of design. In this article, we review and critically assess this body of literature. We give an overview of both behavioral experimental research and simulated agent modeling done using the perceptual crossing paradigm. We discuss different contexts in which work on perceptual crossing has been cited. This includes the controversy about the possible constitutive role of perceptual crossing for social cognition. We conclude with an outlook on future research possibilities, in particular those that could elucidate the link between online interaction dynamics and individual social cognition.

KEYWORDS:

coordination; online interaction; perceptual crossing; social cognition

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